Winner of the tournament was Peter Hodgkinson from Stockport, with Malcolm Elrick from Bingley in Yorkshire and North Wealds Neil Baxter, coming in a close second and third. There were only eight nett points separating the top three players.
Peter has been playing as a blind golfer since 1986, winning the British Open in 1989 and the Australian Open in 1991. He is delighted with his success, saying: I feel fantastic. I always wanted to win the Masters as it is the worlds only 72 hole tournament and its even better because its broken the run as my last trophy win was in 2001.
He was assisted in the competition by his caddy, son Matthew (27), although his usual caddy is his wife, Margaret.
Championship organiser, Mike Loten, from the England Blind Golf Organisation, believes the standard of British blind golf is amongst the best in the world, he comments: Weve seen an excellent level of play in this years competition. It takes stamina and a healthy competitive approach to win. Peters play improved with every day and he had a clear win with 282 shots, a clear eight shots between him and Malcolm and Neil.
Its been a fantastic tournament and Patshull Park is an excellent venue for us with the hotel actually on the course.
John Madsen from Tean in Staffordshire won the other major trophy of the day, the Masters Plate, pipping Worksops Fran Radford, the only lady golfer in the tournament, to the title.
Blind golf is played strictly to the R & A Rules of Golf, with one exception players are allowed to ground their club in a hazard. Players use a sighted caddy or guide, whose role it is to give the blind golfer verbal communication about each hole and discuss club selection. Depending on the level of blindness, the guide can then place the club head behind the ball. From then on, it is down to the blind golfers skill and golf swing. There is no reason why a blind golfer cannot achieve the same accuracy or distance as sighted players.
Many of the British Blind Masters players will be heading to Northern Ireland for the Open and the World Championships in August.